Asian stocks rise on positive growth outlook

Asian stock markets rise on hopes of a better-than-expected regional economic recovery supported by China’s rebound.

Asian economies are expected to post a stronger recovery than earlier expected [File: Issei Kato/Reuters]

Most stock markets in emerging Asia gained ground on Thursday, as analysts pointed to investors reshuffling their portfolios amid expectations of a better-than-forecast economic recovery in the region supported by China’s steady rebound.

Despite weakness in the broader markets and a weak finish at Wall Street overnight on concerns of delayed fiscal stimulus, Asian equity indexes in China, Indonesia and the Philippines advanced between 0.2 percent to 0.6 percent.

“With a lack of headlines or data to drive markets in Asia, investors appear to be using the lull to reduce risk in some markets and rejig weightings in others,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA.

Stirring a bit of positivity in the markets was Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) revision of its growth projection for developing economies in the region for 2020. It now expects them to contract less than previously thought and rebound swiftly next year, supported by China’s pace of recovery.

“The November data out of China had continued to reinforce the recovery picture and the improved global demand, providing support for Asia markets,” said Jingyi Pan, a Singapore-based market strategist with financial services firm IG.

With dwindling coronavirus cases, China’s economy has stabilised from the crisis as most crucial economic indicators like trade and its manufacturing index signal a rapid recovery in
the world’s second biggest economy.

In Japan SoftBank rose nearly 11 percent after the technology giant scored a $11.2bn gain in the value of its stake in DoorDash Inc following the US food delivery app’s blockbuster stock market debut on Wednesday.

The US dollar was a shade weaker in the Asian trading session, supporting local currencies. However, the South Korean won eased 0.1 percent as the country reported 682 new cases of coronavirus infections which threaten to overwhelm its economy and healthcare system. Authorities in the country on Thursday were scrambling to build hospital beds in shipping containers to ease the strain on medical facilities stretched by the latest wave of infections. The Philippine peso firmed 0.3 percent after its October trade deficit came in at $1.78bn, sharply narrower than last year’s $3.25bn figure.

ING analysts said in a note that this, together with low corporate demand for dollars should support the currency in the near term.

Financial markets in Thailand were closed due to a holiday.

Source: Reuters